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JOHN CLARKE (OF HULL) The Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice considered - Lewis Amherst Selby-Bigge, British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, vol. 2 
British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, edited with an Introduction and analytical Index by L.A. Shelby-Bigge in two volumes (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897). Vol. 2.
Part of: British Moralists, being Selections from Writers principally of the Eighteenth Century, 2 vols.
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JOHN CLARKE (OF HULL) The Foundation of Morality in Theory and Practice considered
[Reprinted here from the first edition of 1730.]
774Our Author in his Third Section, makes it his Business expressly, to reduce all Morality to Benevolence, or a disinterested Love of others, and agreeably to that Notion, in his Answer to the Objection1 , brought against the Proposition under debar% from the Suspicion of Self-Interest in our Prosecution of Virtue, because the whole Race of Mankind seems perswaded of the Existence of an Almighty Being, who will certainly secure Happiness, either here or hereafter, to those who are Virtuous. He has these Words, ‘ This Benevolence (i.e. which flows from a View of Reward from the Deity) does scarce deserve the name, when we desire not, nor delight in the Good of others, any farther than it serves our own Ends.’ I am sorry to meet with such a Declaration as this, from an Author I so much value, tho’ he has minced the Matter too; for if he would have spoke home, and conformably to his own Principles, he should not have said that Benevolence flowing from a View of Reward from the Deity, does scarce deserve the Name; but does not at all deserve the Name: For he tells us2 , ‘If there be any Benevolence, it must be Disinterested;’ which it is certain a Disposition to do Good to others, flowing from a View of Reward from the Deity, is not, and therefore cannot deserve the Name of Benevolence at all, and by consequence is no Virtue, since all Virtue, according to him, is reducible to Benevolence, or a Disinterested Love of others, in Principle or Practice.
775 I desire him to reconcile this Doctrine to the Scriptures (for he has too much good Sense to be an Infidel, I dare say.) In them the greatest Reward is promised to Virtue, and Vice threatened with the greatest of Punishments, on purpose sure to excite Mankind to the Practice of Virtue; for if they were not designed for that purpose, I should be glad to be informed, what they were design'd for. It's certain they have a very strong Tendency (where they are believed) to that purpose, and that only I should think. Those Rewards and Punishments are visibly design'd to give the most reasonable Encouragement to Virtue, and Check to Vice, by making it every Man's greatest Interest to be Virtuous. Which shows our Author's general Notion of Virtue, or Moral Good to be wrong; for if all Virtue be Benevolence, and all Benevolence disinterested, ‘tis visibly the highest Impertinence, to pretend to encourage or excite Men to Virtue, by the Proposal of Rewards and Punishments, because it is the same as to pretend to engage Men by Promises and Threats of the highest Importance, by Views of Interest, the most powerful and effectual, to act without the least View or Regard to Self-Interest at all. Which who ever can make out to be practicable, will hardly, I think, find ought else too difficult for him. For to induce Men by Rewards and Punishments to act without any Views of Interest, is, I take it, just as feasible, as to give a Man a hundred Pounds, to do a piece of Work for nothing.* * * * * * *
776 He reduces, as I have already taken notice, all Virtue to Benevolence.* * * * * * *
Benevolence, I think, may be truly defined to be, An Inclination, or Disposition of the Mind to do Good to others, arising more or less from a Delight in their Happiness. This Definition, I presume, the Author will readily allow, as agreeable to his own Sense and Notion of Benevolence. Now, tho’ it should be granted him (which yet is not true) that this Delight in the Happiness of others, is never produced by Views of Self-Interest, yet it will never follow from thence, that the Disposition of Mind arising from it is not founded upon Self-Love, in a Regard at least to the procuring that Delight we take in the Happiness of others, or the Pleasure naturally attending all Actions conformable to that Disposition of Mind, called Benevolence, if not in a View to other natural good Consequent thereupon. For tho’ the Delight should be allowed in all Cases, to be the necessary Effect of the Perception, or Thought of another's Happiness, antecedent to all Reflection of the Mind upon such a Perception or Thought, or the Consequences that may arise from the Happiness of another to our own Advantage, yet it is impossible to conceive, but that the Mind, naturally fond of Pleasure, especially such as is Innocent, and not apprehended to be followed by any harm at all, must be disposed to exert it self, in Acts proper to procure the said Delight, in Order to the Enjoyment thereof, as well as for the sake of other natural Good, or any Advantage whatever supposed likely to follow from them. But the more effectually to unravel our Author's Paragraph, and shew the Mistake thereof, I proceed in the following manner.
777 1. Self-Love is a Principle common to all Mankind, and inseperable from human Nature, and indeed all Natures capable of Happiness and Misery. The Instances of such as voluntarily destroy themselves, by offering Violence to their own Lives, are so far from being any Objection against this, that they are a Confirmation of it. For none are observed to act in that manner, out of Gaiety of Temper, but only when driven to it, by a melancholy State of Mind, that renders them uncapable of any real Enjoyment of Life, and subjects them to great and insupportable Misery. Then the Mind, from the powerful Principle of Self-Love, is hurried on to seek for an End of its Anguish and Distress, by getting out of a World of Woe, in hopes of a State of utter Insensibility, or of finding it self in some other World, where it apprehends it cannot be worse, but may possibly be better.
778 2. Self-Love, as to its Influence upon the Mind, is superior to all other Love, and indeed the Foundation thereof, excepting the Love of Complacency, which is not always founded upon Self-Love, nor does it influence the Mind to Action any further than it produces the Love of Benevolence. For as to the Love of Desire or Enjoyment, and that of Benevolence, there could be no possible Reason or Support for either but Self-Love. The former is visibly founded upon the Desire of Happiness, which is but another Name for Self-Love; and the latter is, tho’ not so apparently, yet as truly and certainly, built upon the same Bottom, and cannot subsist without it. For the Love of Benevolence is, as has been above said, a Desire or Inclination to do Good to others. Now the Object and Cause of Desire is Pleasure alone, or the supposed Means of procuring it, So that Acts of Benevolence are the Object of Inclination, and the Good of others the Object of Desire, only as they are proper to procure the Delight or Satisfaction, that attends or follows from them. This will appear more evidently from the following Considerations.
779 3. Pleasure and Pain, and the supposed Means of producing them, are alone capable of raising in the Mind, the Passions or Dispositions of Inclination and Aversion, the Cause and Object of the former being always Pleasure, or the supposed Means of procuring it; and the Cause and Object of the latter, Pain, or the Means of producing it, either Real or Apprehended, and nothing else. All other Things but Pleasure and Pain, with the supposed Means of attaining the one, and avoiding the other, are perfectly indifferent to the Mind, what it can be under no Trouble or Concern about; and to assert the contrary, is a visible Contradiction; it is the same as to affirm, the Mind may be troubled at what can give it no Trouble at all, or concerned for what can give it no Concern in the least. For what the Mind apprehends no ways necessary to its Pleasure or Happiness, so long as that Apprehension continues, it can be perfectly easy without; for if it cannot, it is then necessary to its Satisfaction or Happiness, and so apprehended by it, which is contrary to the Supposition. And where the Mind is perfectly at Ease without a Thing, there it is absolutely free from all Desire of it, or Inclination for it, because Desire of, or Inclination for a Thing, is nothing but an Uneasiness for the want of it. And, again, what the Mind apprehends un-capable in its Nature of giving it any Pain or Trouble, it can have no Aversion for, because Aversion is only an Uneasiness of Mind, arising from the Sense or Apprehension of a Thing's being in its Nature capable of causing Pain, mediately, or immediately.
780 4. Now, if, as our Author tells us1 ‘The Affections which are of most Importance in Morals are Love and Hatred; and all the rest seem but different Modifications of these two Original Affections;’ We have, I think, something like a Demonstration, that all Morality in Practice is founded upon Self-Love. For by all this, I think, it appears pretty manifestly, that no Man can desire, or be under any Concern for, the Happiness of others, but where it makes a part of his own, either by the Pleasure and Satisfaction it naturally and immediately gives him, or the Hopes of future Benefit and Advantage to arise from it. So that the Supreme and Terminating Regard of the Mind is to its own Satisfaction or Enjoyment, arising one way or other, from the Happiness of others; and their Happiness becomes the Object of Desire, only as it is a Means to procure the said Satisfaction or Enjoyment. For, suppose the Mind to take no Pleasure, receive no Delight, or Satisfaction, from the Happiness of another, Directly, or Indirectly, Immediately, or Mediately, and then his Happiness cannot move Desire at all, because Desire is only an Uneasiness, arising from the want of some Satisfaction, which from his Happiness, it is supposed the Mind cannot have, and therefore cannot desire it. And by consequence, tho’ the Love of Benevolence be usually distinguished from the Love of Desire, or Enjoyment, yet in Effect it is but a peculiar Kind of it, under the Disguise of a Concern only for the Happiness of others; whereas it is really but a Concern for the Happiness of others, in order to secure our own.
781 But to give the Reader still further Satisfaction, if possible, upon this Head, I shall consider the Love of Benevolence, with respect to the various Circumstances of its Object, whereby that Disposition of the Mind may be more or less raised. With Regard to Persons of eminent Virtue, a bright and compleat Moral Character, or one not very compleat, if it is remarkably distinguished by a Benevolent, Generous Disposition of Soul, makes a delightful Picture, in the Minds of such as are not absolutely void of all Humanity, or degenerated into Brutes: nay, perhaps the most Degenerate and Brutish feel a Pleasure in the Contemplation of such a Character; and if so, the Pleasure that accompanies the View of an eminently Virtuous, or Benevolent Character, must have its Foundation in the Original Frame and Constitution of a human Mind, so made as to be necessarily affected with a Perception of Pleasure from such a Character, antecedent to all Reflection there-upon, and so seperate from all Views and Prospects of Interest, or Advantage therefrom, as our Author endeavours very ingeniously to make out, and has indeed, I think, rendered very probable, and therefore I allow it, as a common Principle betwixt us, and shall argue upon the Supposition of it. The Mind then is naturally pleased, or affected with Delight m the Contemplation of an eminently Virtuous, or Benevolent Character; it likewise perceives a Satisfaction, in observing the Union of Virtue and Happiness in Life, and this as naturally as the other, as likewise an Uneasiness or Trouble, from the observed Union of Virtue and Misery. The Sense of Pleasure or Pain upon these Occasions, rises naturally in the Mind, without any View to Self-Interest, tho’ it be capable of increase from thence too, as will appear by and by. The Mind having once from Experience felt the Pleasure that eminent Virtue in Prosperity gives, as likewise the Uneasiness, that Virtue in Distress is apt necessarily to raise in it, receives from that Experience a Benevolent Disposition towards a Person that excells in Virtue, or a Readiness to contribute to his Happiness and Prosperity, in order to the Enjoyment of the Satisfaction arising from it.
782 The Case is the same here, as in the Love of Things Inanimate, capable by their Consumption, or Use_ of contributing to our Enjoyment; as for Instance, of Fruit, or agreeable Diet. The Pleasure received by the Taste, does not arise from Views ot Self-Interest: that's Nonsense to say: but the Love of the Fruit, or Meat visibly does, since it is nothing but a Disposition to enjoy them, arising from a Reflection upon the Pleasure felt in Eating, and that Pleasure is the sole Reason and Foundation of that Disposition, or Love; which Love by consequence is founded upon a Regard to Self, or Self-Satisfaction. Thus too the Mind is Conscious of a Pleasure, arising from the observed Union of Virtue and Happiness, and of Uneasiness from their Seperation, and this without the mixture of any Selfish Views; but then the Disposition of the Mind to Actions of Civility and Kindness, in favour of the eminently Virtuous, arises from the Reflection upon the said Pleasure and Pain, and the performance of those Actions is visibly intended, in order to avoid the Pain, and procure the Pleasure, as will appear still more evidently from the following Considerations.
783 If the Mind, upon the Observation of an Eminently Virtuous Character, apprehends any Danger from thence to its Interests; if the Person that appears under that amiable Form, carries away the Favour of the World from us, or but robs us of the Pre-eminence we aspire to in their Esteem, and by that means baulks us in our Expectations of rising, or making our Fortune in the World, we are then commonly so far from conceiving a favourable Disposition towards him, or being ready to perform the good Offices of Life for him, that we arc apt to be quite differently affected, to Envy, Murmur, and Repine at his Fame and good Fortune; and, why so, but that the Prejudice of our Interests being constantly united with the Representation of his prosperous Circumstances to the Mind, makes the Picture disagreeable, and excites Pain instead of Pleasure? And therefore the Mind wanting the Temptation, arising upon other Occasions, from the Delight attending upon the View of Virtue and Happiness united, and disgusted moreover with the disagreeable Ideas, that always go along with that View, not only waves all thought of any Act of Benevolence, but receives a Disposition to the contrary Acts of Ill Nature and Mischief, in order to lay the Pain and Disturbance, arising from the uncomfortable Consideration of a Person in the Possession of Happiness, to the prejudice of our own. Now let Circumstances so alter, as that we become fully satisfyed, we receive no Prejudice in our Interests, nor are in the least danger of receiving any from him, and then the Consideration of Happiness and Virtue united in his Person, having no longer any Association of Disagreeable Ideas, gives the Mind a Pleasure, to secure which it becomes disposed to such Actions as are proper to preserve, or improve that Union, in proportion to the Delight and Satisfaction received from the Contemplation thereof. And thus Benevolence rises and falls with the Prospect of Pleasure, or Enjoyment, in the Expressions thereof.
784 But tho’ the Case be commonly thus, yet it is not always so; for the Minds of Men are not constantly and invariably disposed, to Envy and Repine at the Success and Happiness of a Topping Virtuous Character, tho’ it eclipses their Glory, and affects them in their Interests and Designs. There are Men found generous enough, in spight of any such Disappointment, to rejoyce in the Success attending upon any Noble Character in Virtue, and agreeably thereto, are strongly disposed to all the good Offices of Humanity and Kindness, in its Favour, which is easily accounted for, from the Principle of Self-Love, in the following manner.
785 Where the Mind is fully perswaded of the Being of a God, and his Goodness, and that he is resolved to reward Virtue, and punish Vice, in a future State, and is, from the Influence of that Principle, and a watchful Conduct, arrived at a Habit of Virtue; there a Sense of Duty and the Hopes of Eternal Happiness from the Performance, keep the Mind in a proper Frame to receive the Delight, which the Observation of Virtue in happy Circumstances naturally gives, where no disgusting Ideas mix with it. For by this means, the Mind easily seperates all Regard to its own little Interests in this Life, from the said Contemplation, and instead thereof, the most lovely of all Ideas, God, and his Favour, with endless and inconceivable Bliss hereafter, intermix with the otherwise amiable Prospect, and render it still the more Delightful and Affecting, and so necessarily produce in the Mind the Disposition, or Love, of Benevolence.
786 The same Views and Considerations visibly operate in the same manner, in Favour of Virtue in Distress, to dispose the Mind to Acts of Benevolence for its Relief, tho’ that may appear prejudicial to us in this Life. The Hope of future Happiness from such a Conduct, justles out all Regard to a present Interest, and by mixing with the Thought or View of the possible Recovery of Virtue from Distress, renders that Prospect still more agreeable and delightful, than it is in it self; and by consequence pushes the Mind strongly towards such Actions, as appear proper to contribute to the said Recovery, and give the Mind a more compleat Enjoyment, in the Contemplation of the actual Union of Virtue and Happiness.
787 But if to the Views of Happiness in another Life, be added a probable Prospect of Interest in this, from such Acts of Benevolence, the Mind receives still a stronger Disposition towards them, and is the more delighted in the Practice thereof. For the Prospect of Happiness is always attended with Pleasure more or less, generally in Proportion to the Happiness expected, and the, Certainty of the Expectation. I think it is very visible in all these several Cases, how Self-Love operates to the producing of Benevolence, and that it is entirely founded upon a View to Pleasure or Enjoyment.
788 As to parental Affection, or that benign and tender Disposition of Parents for their Children, that is likewise founded in Self-Love. I grant indeed it is natural too, as it proceeds from such a natural Constitution of Mind, as renders the Parent necessarily and unavoidably affected with a Sense of Pleasure and Satisfaction, in the Happiness of a Child, and Pain in its Misery. From this natural Connection of the Happiness and Misery of a Parent, with that ot the Child, arises that strong Disposition in the former, to all Actions apprehended proper to promote the Good and Welfare of the Child, because his own depends upon it, and he can have no Ease or Quiet in a different Conduct: But take away this strong Connection betwixt the Happiness and Misery of the Child and the Parent, and the passionate Fondness of the latter for the former will vanish at the same Time, and then no more Benevolence will be left towards the Child than others, except what may arise from a Sense of Duty, and the Hopes of a future Reward, or other Advantages distinct from the Pleasure, naturally attending the Happiness of a Child.
789 Benevolence to Friends, or such as have discovered a great Degree of Kindness and Affection for us, comes next to be considered. This is likewise founded upon Self-Love, and proceeds from it. I do not mean, that it is always or entirely built upon the Views of future Benefits, or further Kindnesses to be received, by the Means of it, or the Spur it may give to the Affection of a Friend, because it is visible, this Disposition of Mind towards a Friend, a hearty Concern for his Welfare, oftentimes continues, when all Prospects of such Advantage from it, are at an End, and we never expect it will be in his Power to make any Returns, or that any Body will do it for him. But then the concomitant Pleasure of Gratitude, the Hopes of Applause from Men, or a Reward from God, for a Conduct so agreeable to his Will, visibly support and keep up that Disposition. Because ‘tis evident to Observation, that Benevolence is stronger or weaker, according as the Mind is more or less influenced by Considerations of that kind, which plainly shews, they are the Cause of it. ‘Tis therefore, in this Case, for the Sake of the Pleasure naturally attending upon Acts of Gratitude, for the Sake of Applause from Men, or a Reward from God, or all together, that Men retain a benevolent Disposition for a ruined beyond rained beyond all probable Prospect, of his being ever in a Condition, to return any Kindness done him.
790 As to the Rest of Mankind, that come not under the Denomination of Persons eminently Virtuous, Children, or Friends, Benevolence, so far as it is natural, runs very low, and where it is very conspicuous, is either owing to a Desire of Fame, and the Advantages arising from it, or Religious Considerations. In the latter Cases, it is visibly founded upon Self-Love; and so far as it is the Effect of the Original Mould and Constitution of the Mind, is practised for the Sake of the concomitant Pleasure depending upon that Constitution of Mind, and flowing from it, and so is still, even in that Case, supported and upheld, by a Desire of Pleasure, which is Self-Love.
791 Thus I have run through Benevolence in all its great Branches, and shewn, I think, how it flows from a Regard to Self-Satisfaction or Happiness, and that it can not possibly be otherwise, because nothing can be the Object of Inclination but Pleasure, nothing the Object of Aversion but Pain, or the supposed Means of producing them. Let us now return to our Author's Paragraph, and see how it will abide the Application.
‘As to the Love bf Benevolence, the very Name excludes Self-interest1 .’ Ans. Not at all: it intimates indeed a Regard for others, but does not exclude a Regard to Self, unless those two Regards were inconsistent, which ‘tis visible they are not, but have so far a necessary Connection, that the former cannot subsist without the latter, but is founded entirely upon it. And Self-Love, or a Regard to a Man's own Happiness, which is inseperable from his Nature, will oblige him to have a Regard to, and Concern for, the Happiness of others, where they have by Nature a Connection, or a Regard to the latter, is apprehended necessary, by the Appointment of God, in order to secure the former in a future State. And in no Case can the Mind be affected with a Concern for the Happiness of others (which is only another Name for Benevolence) but where it is brought home to it self, and some way or other, either Immediately, or by Consequence, made a part of its own, in Reality or Supposition. The contrary visibly implies a Contradiction, as has been shewn above.
792 ‘We never call that Man Benevolent, who is in Fact useful to others, but at the same time, only intends his own Interest, without any Desire of, or Delight in the Happiness of others1 ’. Ans. Very true. But suppose a Man intends his own Interest, and at the same time is desirous of, and delights m the Good of others, what do we call him then? Whatever our Author may think fit to call him, the World, I am sure, call such a Man Benevolent.* * * * * * *
793 ‘The most useful Action imaginable, loses all Appearance of Benevolence, as soon as we discern it only flowed from Self-Love, or Interest2 .’ Answ. Benevolence is only a Disposition, or Inclination of the Mind to Action, and therefore in strict and proper speaking, no Action can be called Benevolence: But however, I allow, what, I suppose, the Author meant to say, that a Disposition to do Good to others, arising only from Views of Interest, is not called Benevolence, provided the Word Interest be here taken in the Sense it is always used in, when the Discourse is of Benevolence, or Disinterested Love, that is, for the Advantages and Conveniencies of this Life, exclusive of that Pleasure and Satisfaction, necessarily and immediately attending upon Benevolent Actions, considered in themselves, without Regard to any Beneficial Consequences, that may follow from them. As, suppose a Man does a Kindness for another, purely in hopes of obtaining Money, Honour, or a Mistress; he has, I grant, no Title to the Name of Benevolent; but if he does it, because he receives a Satisfaction from a Consideration of his Welfare, a Pleasure from the very Action, seperate from all Views of that kind, he is then called Benevolent, notwithstanding he acts most certainly for the sake of the concomitant Pleasure. The Disposition of Mind, from which he acts, is allowed to be a Disinterested Love: which evidently shews, that the Term Interest, does not, in the use of it upon this Occasion, extend to that Concomitant Pleasure. So that, tho’ a Man proposes that Pleasure, and certainly designs by his Action to obtain it, yet he is not therefore call'd a Self-ended Man. He Acts upon as Disinterested a Principle, as it's conceived possible for human Nature to act. Our Author, as appears from the Paragraph under Examination, will not allow a Man to be Benevolent, that does not Act with a Desire of, or Delight in the Happiness, or Good of others: But how a Man can Act with a Desire of, and delight in the Good of others, and yet not propose to himself the Enjoyment of that Delight, will puzzle, I doubt, a very good Philosopher to make out.* * * * * * *
794 The Author has the following Words, ‘There is one Objection against Disinterested Love, which occurs from considering, that nothing so effectually excites our Love towards Rational Agents, as their Beneficence to us, whence we are led to imagine, that our Love of Persons, as well as irrational Objects, flows entirely from Self-Interest. But let us here examine our selves more narrowly: Do we only love the Beneficent, because it is our Interest to love them? Or do we choose to love them, because our Love is a Means of procuring their Bounty? If it be so, then we could indifferently love any Character, even to obtain the Bounty of a third Person, or we could be bribed by a third Person, to love the greatest Villain heartily, as we may be bribed to external Offices. Now this is plainly impossible1 .
In Order to unravel the Perplexity of this Period, and lay open the Mistake of it, I must beg the Reader to remember, that Benevolence is nothing but a Disposition to do Good to others, arising more or less from a Delight in their Welfare. This is the Love of Benevolence, which our Author either is, or should be, I am sure, talking of here. And this we must have a Care of confounding, as he seems sometimes to do, either with its Cause on the one Hand, that Complacency or Delight in the Good of others, from whence it has its Original, or with its Fruits and Effects on the other Hand, the outward Actions or Expressions of it; and then all will be easy, and it will appear, I think, very evidently, that the Love of Benevolence towards rational Agents, occasioned by their Beneficence, flows entirely from Self-Love, or Self-Interest, if our Author means to extend the Word Interest, as his Argument requires he should, to what he calls the concomitant 795 Pleasure of Virtue. For, I. The Kindness of others towards us makes us think of them with Pleasure, think of their being Happy with Complacency and Satisfaction. This has its Foundation in the Original Frame and Constitution of the Mind, which is so made, that it can not help being so affected, and therefore is not matter of Choice, but the immediate and necessary Effect of the Operation of Beneficence upon the Mind; which Affection, tho’ it may receive an Improvement from the Hopes of further Benefits in the same Way, yet ‘tis plain, that Pleasure or Complacency will arise in the Mind without them, because we are sensible, from Experience, it does, and will continue, and very strong too, when all Expectations of that Kind arc at an End. This Perception of Delight, this Complacency in thinking upon a Benefactor and his Welfare, which is called the Love of Complacency, is disinterested, as certainly as the Perception of Pleasure in the Smell of a Rose, or the Taste of 796 a Peach. But then 2. The Mind finding from Experience, that the Welfare of its Benefactor is capable of giving it a very considerable Satisfaction, in Order to enjoy that Satisfaction, becomes strongly disposed to the good Offices of Kindness, Relief, Support, in one Word, to contribute in any Way or Kind it conveniently can, to the Pleasure and Enjoyment of its Friend. And this Disposition is the Love of Benevolence, and very distinct from the Satisfaction that gave Rise to it, which is called the Love of Complacency. Which, however in a loose and popular Way of speaking, they may be confounded under the common Name of Love, yet in a philosophical Discourse upon the Subject of Love as a Moral Disposition of Mind, ought carefully to be distinguished: which if our Author had done, he would not have fallen into the Mistake, which I apprehend he has. The one, that is, the Love of Complacency, as it is the immediate and necessary Product of Beneficence upon the Mind, does not arise from Views of Interest, any more than the Relish of an Oyster upon the Palate. They are both of them the necessary Product of a certain established Order of Nature, antecedent to all Reflection: But a Disposition to Acts of Kindness, which is the Love of Benevolence, does as certainly arise from a Reflection upon the Pleasure to be had in the Happiness of a Friend, and a Desire to enjoy it, as a Man is disposed to eat Oysters from a Reflection upon their agreeable Gust and a Desire to enjoy the Pleasure thereof. So that the Love of a Benefactor does as certainly arise from Self-Love, as the Love of Oysters.
797 Now we are prepared to answer our Author's Question,’ Do we only love the Beneficent, because it is our Interest to love them?” Ans. No, if by Love be meant that of Complacency, which I doubt the Author, in penning this Question, for want of a little Attention, did in his Thoughts confound with that of Benevolence, and because the former is disinterested, unwarily let that Thought slide upon the latter. But if by Love we are to understand that of Benevolence, which he is in this Place expresly treating of, then the Meaning of the Question in other Words is this, Are we disposed to do Good to others, only because it is our Interest to be so disposed? or rather because it is our Interest to do them Good? Arts. No, if by Interest be meant what is usually meant, as I have already observed, when the Discourse is about disinterested Love, that is, the Benefits and Advantages of this Life, that may arise from the Expression of our Love by Acts of Kindness, exclusive of that Pleasure, which flows from those Acts immediately, without any View to further Advantage to be received from them. In this Sense of Interest we do not love the Beneficent, only because it is our Interest to be kind or beneficent to them again, that is, we are not disposed to do Good to them, only because we expect the like from them or others again, or because it will some Way or other turn to our Interest: No, we are strongly disposed to do Good oftentimes without any such Views; but where those Views do interpose, they make us take still the more Delight in the Welfare of our Benefactors, and so heighten m us the Disposition or Inclination, to Acts of Beneficence proper to promote it. But if our Author means under the Term Interest to include the immediate Pleasure, necessarily arising from Actions of Benevolence, without any Respect to Consequences, which ‘tis plain his Argument obliges him to, and he must mean, or he means nothing to his Purpose, then the Answer to his Question, is, Yes; We do love the Beneficent, only because it is our Interest to be kind to them, or we are disposed to do Good to the Beneficent, only because it is our Interest, or we find our Account in it, at least in the Enjoyment of the immediate Pleasure attending upon Actions of Benevolence, if not from further Advantage flowing from them. And this appears to me as certain, as that a Man ordinarily eats Fruit, for the sake of the Pleasure to be had in the eating of it.
798 His next Question is,’ Do we choose to love them (the Beneficent) because our Love is the Means of procuring their Bounty?1 This is, I think, a very strange Question, wherein Love is confounded with its Effects, or benevolent Actions. And because the latter are Matter of Choice, the former is supposed to be so too; or at least this Supposition is put upon the Objectors, as an Absurdity their Objection implies; which yet, ‘tis visible, it does not; for a Man may maintain that Love rises from Views of Interest, as it's certain it oftentimes does, without being obliged, in order to make good that Doctrine, to suppose or hold Love to be the Matter of Choice. Nor did ever any Body in a philosophical Discourse, I believe, talk of love as Matter of direct and immediate Choice. ‘Tis true the Disposition of Mind necessary to render it capable of that Passion, may in some Cases be originally owing to Acts of the Will: But to talk of choosing to love, is representing Love as the immediate Effect of an Act of the Will; which is very unphilosophical; and if he ask'd the Question seriously, shews plainly, that he confounds Love, which is only an Affection of the Mind, with the Actions flowing from it: But if he ask'd it only comically, to insinuate that the Objectors must, to make good their Objection, be forced to the Use of such absurd unphilosophical Dialect, I humbly conceive he is under a great Mistake, as may in part appear already, and will more fully, before we have done with this Question. Love too is represented as a Means to procure Bounty; which is another Mistake, occasioned by the confounding Love with Actions proceeding from it. For Love being an invisible Disposition of the Mind, is a Means to procure nothing; but outward Actions are, whether they proceed from real Love, or are only pretended so to do, artfully enough to deceive.
799 The proper Answer then to this remarkable Question is, I think, this. No, we do not choose to love the Beneficent, because our Love is the Means of procuring their Bounty. To say we do, carries as much Absurdity in it, as can well be expressed in so few Words. Love is a Passion of the Mind arising from Reflection upon its proper Object, Pleasure, or the Means of procuring it, and is not Matter of Choice. We are not at Liberty to love as we list; and therefore where Love rises in the Mind, it is not the Product of any Act of the Will exerted at that time, but a necessary Effect consequent upon the Appearance of Objects to the Mind, as capable of contributing to our Delight or Satisfaction. The Sense of Benefits received, gives the Mind a Pleasure in reflecting upon the Author of them, disposes it necessarily to receive a Complacency, from the Consideration of his Happiness or Welfare, and Pain from his Misery or Misfortunes. From which the Mind perceiving a Connection betwixt the Good of its Benefactor and its own Quiet, and that it can not help sympathizing in some Measure with him, is further necessarily disposed to contribute to his Welfare. This Disposition to favour and befriend him, is the necessary Product of that necessary Connection betwixt his Happiness, and our own: But the Mind is generally free to comply with this Disposition or not, and so Actions conformable thereto are free, and Matter of Choice. Which being in a vulgar way of Talking called Love, our Author, has, I fear, been thereby misled to ascribe that to Love, which belongs not to it, in the strict and proper Meaning of the Word; but only to the outward Expressions of it. And how he came to suppose, as his Question seems to do, that if our Love of the Beneficent flows from Self-Love, it must be the immediate Product of an Act of the Will, or a Matter of Choice, I cannot imagine. Those that will have all Love of Benevolence for Persons to proceed from Self-Love, have no Occasion to support that Principle by any such wild Notion. What our Author therefore has here taken for granted, he ought to have proved; and ‘till he has, the Objectors are not at all affected by his Conclusion.
800 There is therefore no Foundation for saying, ‘If our Love was not disinterested, we could indifferently love any Character, to obtain the Bounty of a third Person; or we could be bribed by a third Person, to love the greatest Villain heartily1 ,’ because there is no Truth, or the least Appearance of any, in the Supposition from whence that Inference is drawn, nor are the Objectors obliged to allow it, but may consistently enough, with their Notion of the Love of Persons flowing from Self-Love, maintain that it is not therefore perfectly Arbitrary, or Matter of Choice. A Sense of Kindnesses done us, where it gives the Mind a Pleasure in thinking of its Benefactor and his Welfare, which it usually does, produces that Effect necessarily, and independently upon the Will, in Consequence of a certain established Order of Nature for that Purpose. From this Sense of Pleasure in the Good of its Benefactor, arising necessarily from his Kindness, flows and necessarily too a Disposition to do him Good, for the Sake of the Pleasure attending it. But the Thought of the Happiness of a Villain considered as such, being uncapable of giving the Mind any Pleasure, it is impossible it should love him as such, because Love is only a Disposition to do Good to another, from a Pleasure in his Happiness, which in this Case is wanting, and from the Nature of the Mind must be so. Nor will a Bribe produce that Pleasure, any more than it will make us feel the Relish of Melons in a Piece of Touch-wood. A Bribe may prevail with a Man to perform such Actions, as Benevolence will produce; but will never make him feel a Pleasure from Objects, which they are not by Nature fitted to give. A Sense of Kindnesses received, disposes the Mind to think upon its Benefactor and his Happiness with Pleasure. Under the Character of a Friend, he is an Object fitted by Nature to raise Delight, especially when considered as happy. This Delight in his Being and Happiness gives the Mind a Disposition to such Actions as tend to secure, promote, or encrease it, for the sake of that Delight that attends them. But how will it hence follow; That, because the Mind is necessarily affected with a Delight in the Welfare of its Benefactor, and for the sake of that Delight disposed to do him Good, it may for a Bribe be so affected and disposed towards one that is no Benefactor? May it not with as much Reason be said, that, because a Man finds an agreeable Taste in Bread, and is from thence disposed to eat it, he may for a Bribe find the same in a Brick-bat, and swallow that too? The Happiness of a Villain consider'd as such, is not an Object naturally fitted to raise Delight in the Mind; a Bribe may dispose us to act in his Favour, but cannot raise that Delight, and by Consequence cannot produce Love, which is an Affection of the Mind, proceeding only from that Delight.
801 Thus, I think, it appears pretty plainly, that, notwithstanding our Love of the Beneficent, flows intirely from Self-Interest, if the Word Interest be extended to that Pleasure, which naturally arises from the Happiness of a Friend, without any View to future Advantage from it; yet it does not follow from thence, that we might for a Bribe indifferently love any Character, even the greatest Villain. Before I take Leave of this Question, I must observe, that tho’ we should allow our Author's Reasoning to be just, yet it only proves that we cannot love the Beneficent, from the Hopes of procuring their Bounty by it, or rather (to speak more properly) by the outward Expressions of it. But still falls short of what he proposed, which was to shew that our Love of Persons flows not at all from Self-Interest: For if there be an Interest, besides their Bounty, to be obtained, by the Practice of Benevolence, as he himself allows there is, viz. a concomitant Pleasure, inseperable from it, tho’ no further Bounty be expected, his Argument does not reach it, and the Disposition to Acts of Benevolence may arise from a View to that Pleasure, and so flow from Self-Interest notwithstanding.* * * * * * *
802 As to his declaring, ‘That without acknowledging some other Principle of Action in Rational Agents besides Self-Love, he sees no Foundation to expect Beneficence, or Rewards from God or Man, further than it is the Interest of the Benefactor1 .’ I agree there does not appear any Foundation for such an Expectation, any further than it is the Interest of the Benefactor, if he includes in the Word Interest, the Pleasure or Delight of doing Good, arising immediately from the Action it self, without Regard to further Consequences from it. As to Men, I think I have made the Matter pretty evident, there is none at all. And, I confess, I see no Reason or Foundation for the Expectation of Beneficence or Rewards from God, if he do not Delight, or take a Pleasure in doing Good. Without this Supposition, I understand not for my part, in what Sense he could be called a good Being. The Scripture, it's certain, represents him, and in very strong Terms, as a Being that delights in Mercy and Loving-Kindness; and why we should not understand those and the like Expressions literally, I know not; and if I am in a Mistake, should be very glad to be better informed. No Body doubts, I suppose, but he is a very happy Being; and why may not one part of his Happiness be thought to consist in a Delight to do Good? I hardly believe, our Author will be able to shew any absurd Consequence to follow from such a Supposition. However, by allowing to Men no Motive to Acts of Beneficence, from Pleasure, or Advantage of any kind, either in this Life or another, he has indeed taken away all Motive whatever to any such Actions, and left them as perfectly indifferent to the Mind, as the wagging of a Finger, or any other the most trifling Action imaginable. Men may indeed perform an Act of Beneficence, as they may move a Finger, or shut their Eyes, by an Absolute Arbitrary Act of the Will, without any Reason for it; but when all Regard to Pleasure is taken away, there is nothing left to move, or engage the Mind to Act constantly in that Way, as oft as proper Occasions present; and consequently upon his Principle there could be no such thing as Benevolence at all: and Virtue, in his Notion of it, is not to be expected from Mankind, as having no Foundation in Nature.
803 Our Author proceeds to start and answer another Objection against his Doctrine, m the following Words. ‘The last and only remaining Objection against what has been said, is this, that perhaps Virtue is pursued because of the Concomitant Pleasure. But may we not justly question, whether all Virtue be pleasant? or whether we are not determined to some Amiable Actions, that are not pleasant1 ?’ Answ. These last Words, to my thinking, manifestly imply a Contradiction; for I desire our Author, or any one else, to shew, how any thing can appear amiable to the Mind, that does not please it; and how any Thing can be said to please it, that does not give it a Pleasure. So far therefore as any Actions are Amiable, so far they are Pleasing and Delightful. And you may as well talk of a Face's being Amiable, that gives no Delight at all to the Beholder, as of Actions being Amiable, that give no Delight to the Agent in the Performance. And I wonder what other Definition can be given of an Amiable Action, than only such as raises Delight in the Beholder, or Hearer of it, but much more in the Performer. There may be Pain or Trouble attend the Performance, but there must be a Pleasure too, in the Consideration of it, if it be Amiable. You‘ll say, perhaps, the Pain may much over-ballance the Pleasure; I grant it, and in that Case, Moral Sense will infallibly be baffled, and therefore is not sufficient for the Support of Morality.
804 But all Virtue is not Pleasant2 .’ I desire our Author to reconcile this with his two Propositions, laid down by him as containing the Sum and Substance of his Doctrine upon Moral Good and Evil; wherein he tells us, ‘That by a Superior Sense, which he calls a Moral One, we perceive a Pleasure in the Contemplation of some Actions in others, and are determined to love the Agent (and much more do we perceive Pleasure in being Conscious of having done such Actions our selves) and that what excites us to such Actions as we call Virtuous, is not an Intention to obtain the Concomitant Pleasure1 Here, I think, all Virtuous Actions are supposed to give a Pleasure in the Contemplation; and the more, if we are Conscious of having done them our selves; for he excepts none, nor does he any where suppose that the Moral Sense is Defective, or qualifies us to receive Pleasure in the Contemplation of some Virtuous Actions, and not in others.
805 Perhaps it may be said, that all Virtuous Actions are indeed Amiable, and therefore naturally give a Pleasure, but sometimes fail so to do, by reason of the Inattentiveness of the Mind in the hurry of Action, which yet the Mind pursues, tho’ attended with Pain. This is what the Author in Effect says in the following Words. ‘Now there are several Morally Amiable Actions, which flow from these Passions which are uneasy, such as Attempts of Relieving the Distressed, of Defending the Injured, of Repairing of Wrongs done by our selves. These Actions are often accompanied with no Pleasure in the mean time, nor have they any Subsequent Pleasure, except as they are Successful, unless it be that which may arise from calm Reflection, when the Passion is over, upon our having been in a Disposition, which to our Moral Sense appears Lovely and Good. But this Pleasure is never intended in the Heat of Action, nor is it any Motive exciting to it2 .’ Answ. No! What is then intended in the Heat of Action, or what is the Motive exciting to it, if it be not Pleasure? Is it the Pain or Trouble that attends the Action, that Excites and Allures to it? is Pain so very inviting? I am sorry so Ingenious an Author should seem to insinuate a Thing, so repugnant to Nature and common Sense. If the Mind pursues a painful Action, and appearing to be such, without the least View to Satisfaction, or Pleasure of any Kind, which the Author's Argument requires him to say, and is the visible Design of this Paragraph to maintain, it must then choose Pain for is own sake, that is, must be in Love with Pain: which whoever is, will have no reason to complain, if he is soundly Cudgelled by every one that meets him. I fear it will be thought an Argument of a desperate Cause, when such a Man as our Author is put to such a terrible Shift, such an unnatural Strain in the Defence of it. For what can be more Unnatural, or contrary to the common Experience of Mankind, than to assert, that the Mind of Man may be, and often is engag'd in Actions visibly attended with Pain and Uneasiness, without the least View to Pleasure or Satisfaction of any kind. Of this we may be very sure there never was so much as one Instance, since Heaven and Earth were made, nor ever will. In all Troublesome and Painful Actions, be they hot or Cold, the Mind has constantly a View to Pleasure of some sort or other; there is not the least Reason to suppose the contrary, nor does our Author alledge any; he only affirms it so to be, as being indeed necessary for the Support of his Hypothesis; but the Supposition has no Foundation at all, either in Reason or Experience. In the Troublesome and uneasy Actions of Relieving the Distressed, Defending the Injured, or Repairing Wrongs, the Mind is constantly supported, either by a Pleasure attending the View of those Actions, considered as Amiable, or the Prospect of being relieved from the Pain of Compassion, or of Security against Censure, apprehended from the Omission of those Actions, by the Hopes of Applause from Men, a Requital from the Parties Relieved, or their Friends, or a Reward from God. Is it at all likely that the Mind, notwithstanding these several Considerations naturally offer themselves, should not be excited by any one of them, but rush forward upon Pain and Trouble, without Fear or Wit, no Body knows why, nor wherefore? Credat Judaeus Apella.
806 But if all Virtue be not pleasant, some undoubtedly is, and then why may not that be pursued for the sake of the Concomitant Pleasure? I do not find our Author says any thing to this, nor can any thing, I fear, be said to it; for, I think, I may venture to challenge him, or any one else to shew, for what End the Moral Sense could be given us, if it was not to encourage and excite us to Virtue, by the immediate Pleasure it enables us to receive, in the Contemplation of Virtuous Actions, especially when performed by our selves, or the Discovery it naturally invites and leads us to, of further Pleasure at a distance, likely to follow from them, in the natural course of Things in this Life, or by the Appointment of God in another. Set aside this Intention in bestowing the Moral Sense, and then let any one shew me what it is good for, or with what Design it could possibly be given. It appears altogether useless, any further than by a Prospect of Pleasure or Happiness, it influences the Mind to Virtuous Actions, proper for the procuring thereof. And our Author has employ'd his Pains, I think, to very little Purpose, in an Endeavour to establish his Doctrine of a Moral Sense, if the Pleasure it gives, serves not at all to excite us to Virtue, as he expresly asserts in his Second Proposition, and endeavours to maintain throughout this whole Second Section; but more especially and directly, in his Answer to this Objection against his Doctrine, drawn from the Concomitant Pleasure of Virtue. This is in Effect pulling down with one Hand, what he had built up with the other. He first takes Pains to shew there is a Moral Sense, and then labours with all his Might, to make it appear Useless and Insignificant.
807 The Doctrine of a Moral Sense, and a Natural Benevolence founded thereon, is a very pretty ingenious Speculation, which the World is obliged to our Author for; and has, in my Opinion, a good deal of Truth in it, tho’ perhaps it may not be of that Universal Extent he pleads for: And the Use thereof appears to be this. That sudden and immediate Sense of Pleasure, arising from the View, or Observation of some sort of Actions, seperate from all Expectation of any Benefit to our selves from them, seems intended by the great Author of Nature, to invite Mankind to the Practice of Virtuous Actions, to turn and fix the Attention of the Mind upon them, in order to discover more completely their Tendency, and the natural Benefits and Advantages, that may reasonably be expected from them, by the Practitioners. This is the natural Effect of Beauty m any Object, to engage the Mind to view and observe it very carefully: And therefore the main Use of the Moral Sense, and the Principal Intention of Nature therein, seems to be, to put the Mind of Man upon the Hunt, to see if such Actions as appear at first sight Beautiful, may not be attended with greater Pleasures, than the first View presents. For tho” that first and sudden Pleasure, may of It self in some measure influence the Mind to Action, yet that is utterly insufficient to support, or carry Mankind far in the Practice of Virtue; and if it had no other Support, Moral Sense considered as a Principle of Action, would be almost perpetually baffled by the Superior Allurements of Vice. No, Virtue receives a much greater Encouragement, from Pleasures expected to follow at a distance from the Practice of it, in this Life, or a future, than from the Concomitant Pleasure; and these the Moral Sense naturally leads to the Discovery of, by engaging the Attention of the Mind to survey such Actions, as appear naturally comely, on all sides: And thus may be of considerable use to restrain Mankind from being so Wicked, as otherwise they would be, and gives us Reason to admire at once, both the Wisdom and Goodness of its Author. But this likely and agreeable Speculation is all blasted, by our Author's unaccountable Notion of Virtue, which he makes to consist in a Disinterested Love of others, a Love seperated from all manner of. Regard to Pleasure of any kind, Concomitant or Subsequent, in this Life or another. Which is outdoing the Stoicks themselves far away; for tho’ they held Virtue sufficient for its own Reward; yet, I think, they did so, upon account of that inward Delight and Satisfaction, the Practice thereof naturally gives the Mind, and agreeably thereto pronounc'd their Wise Man alone completely happy; and from that Consideration recommended Virtue to Mankind. But our Author utterly disallows of all Respect to any Delight or Satisfaction whatsoever, as any proper Motive to Virtue; and therefore I should be glad to be inform'd, upon what Principle or Foundation he can pretend to recommend Virtue to the World. Others do it by constantly representing the Happiness to be expected from it in this Life, or another, or both; but, according to our Author, those are Poor, Mean, Selfish Considerations, absolutely inconsistent with the true Notion of Virtue, if a Man acts only from such Motives.
808 The Mind of Man is naturally fond of Pleasure_ and always greedily embraces it, where it does not appear to interfere with the Enjoyment of a greater, or to be attended with any After-claps of Pain or Misery. Thus God Almighty has made Man, and can it be supposed, he has annexed a Sense of Pleasure to such Actions as he would have him perform, without any Intention, that he should be at all moved or excited by a Consideration thereof, to the Performance of those Actions? What a wild unaccountable Supposition is this? May it not be as reasonable to suppose, God has annex'd a Perception of Pleasure, to the use of the ordinary Means of our Preservation, without any design we should thereby he wrought upon, to use them for that purpose? As that he has made Meat pleasant, but not to excite us by that Pleasure to Eat? That he has made the two Sexes agreeable to one another, but never meant, they should be disposed by that Agreeableness, to come together? The World has been always apt to think, and ever will, I imagine, that where God has, by an establish'd Order of Nature, annexed a Perception of Pleasure to the Performance of any Action, he thereby intended to excite Mankind generally to the performance of that Action, under proper Regulations and Restrictions. I might, I believe, venture to put the Issue of this whole Debate upon it, and yield our Author the Cause, if he can but shew, what use the Moral Sense can possibly be of, if it be not proper, and accordingly design'd, to excite us to Virtuous Actions, by that Pleasure it enables us to perceive in them, especially when performed by our selves, or the Discovery it may lead to of further Advantage from them. What is there in the Pleasure that Virtue makes us feel immediately, or gives a prospect of at a distance, for the Mind to boggle at, that it should not thereby be spurr'd on to Action in this Case, as well as others, where no Harm is apprehended from closing with the Pleasure in View?
809 He tells us in his Preface,’ That the Author of Nature has made Virtue a lovely Form, to excite our Pursuit of it.’ This has both Sense and Truth in it; but then how shall we reconcile it with his Declaration,’ That what excites us to those Actions which we call Virtuous, is not an Intention to obtain even this sensible Pleasure, arising from this lovely Form, especially when in our own Possession? Has God given Virtue this lovely Form, on purpose to excite us to the Pursuit of it, and are we neither excited by it, nor ought to be, because it is sordid and selfish to act upon such a Principle, and deserves not the Name of Virtue? Or are we excited by it, but without any Intention of obtaining the sensible Pleasure the Loveliness of its Form is fitted to give us? Make that out, how Beauty can allure and excite to Action, and the Mind have at the same time no Intention in the least, of obtaining the Pleasure that Beauty gives.
810 ‘An honest Farmer will tell you, that he studies the Preservation and Happiness of his Children, and loves them without any Design of Good to himself1 .’ Ans. How can that be, when he will be infallibly miserable if he does not? He proposes perhaps no Good to himself, but that Satisfaction which necessarily arises from a Sense of their Preservation and Happiness; but that is a Good so great, that he must be exceedingly uneasy without it; a Sense of which most certainly determines him to study the Good of his Children. A Man may as well say, that in labouring to prevent the Gout, Stone, or any other Distemper, he proposes no Good to himself, because he expects no Accession of Wealth, Honour, or Fame thereby, tho’ it be visible he labours in that manner for the Pleasure of Health, and to avoid the Pain and Disturbance of the Distemper he fears. Just so do Parents labour for the Good of their Children, for the Sake of the Pleasure they receive from a Sense of their Welfare, and to avoid that Sorrow and Affliction, their Misery would unavoidably give them. And this was wisely so ordered by the Author of Nature, to oblige Parents to take Care of their Children, for their own Sakes, because they find it impossible to be easy upon any other Terms.
811 ‘But his Love to his Child,’ says our Author,’ makes him affected with his Pleasures and Pains. This Love then is antecedent to the Conjunction of Interest, and the Cause of it, not the Effect2 .’ Ans. This, I humbly conceive, is a great and fundamental Mistake. In no Sense of the Word, Love, can it be said to make the Parent affected with the Pleasures of his Child, or to be the Cause of that Affection: because the Love of Complacency is that very Affection, and not the Cause of it. And the Love of Benevolence in a Parent for his Child, being nothing but a strong Disposition, or passionate Inclination, to preserve and provide for its Happiness, is the Effect, and not the Cause of that Affection, which our Author calls a Conjunction of Interest; but I rather choose to call a natural Connection betwixt the Happiness of the Child and its Parent, by which that of the latter is rendered dependent upon the former. And it is a strange Inversion of the Order of Nature to imagine, that the Disposition in the Parent to seek the Child's Good, is the Cause of that Connection, when ‘tis as clear as Sun-shine, that the latter is the Cause of the former: And the Father is so disposed, because he finds by Experience, there is such a Connection: The Cause of which is in the unknown Frame and Constitution of the Mind, which no Body can account for, any more than why the Smell of a Rose should be sweet, and that of Assa Foetida otherwise.
812 The Case is manifestly thus. The Great and Wise God designing, for very good Reasons no doubt, that Man should be born into the World in a very weak and helpless Condition, and not arrive at such a Use of his Reason, as is sufficient for his own Guidance and Direction, in the Management of himself and his Affairs, but by a gradual and slow Process, has laid Parents under an Obligation, to take Care of, and provide for, conduct and govern their Children, till they are capable of doing so much for themselves. But because this was like to prove a tedious Task, and the Performance not to be expected from a Sense of Duty, which the thoughtless Part of Mankind would want, and the wiser not be sufficiently influenced by, to undertake, or substantially execute such a terrible Piece of Drudgery, he has thought fit so to mould and fashion the Human Mind, that the Parents by a strange and surprizing Sympathy, should be very deeply affected with the Pleasures and Pains of their Offspring, receive a most wonderful Satisfaction in the former, and as terrible a Disturbance from the latter, and so be obliged by the very Principle of Self-Love, to take Care of their Issue, and provide for their Happiness, in order to secure their own. From all which, I think it is very evident, that Natural Affection, or the strong Benevolence in Parents towards their Children, arises from the pleasure and pain their happiness and misery necessarily and unavoidably give them, and so is founded in Self-Love; or that the Reason why Parents love their Children so much, that is, are so strongly inclined to study their Welfare, is, because they love themselves, and are invincibly disposed to pursue their own Happiness. And it is a Wonder indeed, how a Person of our Author's Parts could miss a Thing so very apparent.
Above, § 101.
Above, § 92.
Above, § 90.
Above, § 92.
Above, § 92.
Above, § 98.
Above, § 98.
Above, § 98.
Above, § 102.
Above, § 103.
Above, § 104
Above, § 72.
Above, § 104.